Brrr…It’s cold outside. Warm up with this easy and delicious hot soup. With only 5 ingredients, including pumpkin from a can, this tasty vegan soup is ready in less than 10 minutes. (Deborah, this one is for you!) With a bit of spice from red curry paste, this soup will delight your tastebuds and warm you from your head to your toes. Best of all, the recipe is so quick and easy, making it a great last minute throw together meal with items straight from your pantry. It just tastes like it’s been bubbling away on the stove all day. Just add crusty bread or a salad and dinner is ready. Sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table STAT or it’s going to be takeout again…This is a recipe I spotted on Foodie Crush which is a great source of foodie inspiration so check out her site, but I think the original recipe is from “The Instant Cook”‘ by Donna Hay.
We know that using canned pumpkin is a time saver and allows us to use pumpkin all year around and not just in the Fall/Winter when it is in season, but is canned pumpkin as healthful as fresh? It actually appears that it does have some other benefits than just being convenient. ‘Canned pumpkin has a concentrated density so has more calories per serving than fresh pumpkin and higher amounts of several essential nutrients. One-half cup of canned pumpkin has 40 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 0.5 gram of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium and 2 grams of protein, according to the University of Illinois. One-half cup of canned pumpkin has 17,500 international unites of vitamin A, almost twice the amount one-half cup of fresh pumpkin provides. This serving also includes 4.8 milligrams of vitamin C, 40 milligrams of calcium and 2 milligrams of iron. Canned pumpkin offers more fiber, protein, vitamin A, calcium and iron than fresh, boiled pumpkin.’ (Jillian Michaels) Some cooks actually prefer canned pumpkin to fresh, especially in baking, probably due to it’s density of nutrients and thicker, less watery consistency.
So don’t feel like a deadbeat cook for using canned or boxed pumpkin. Just think of yourself as making smart choices, but do make sure you buy organic canned pumpkin that does not contain any salt, spices or ingredients other than pumpkin. The label should indicate that it is organic pumpkin with nothing added, especially pumpkin pie spice and/or sugar.
TIPS: If you are a purist and prefer to use a fresh pumpkin instead of the canned variety, choose a 2-3 pound pumpkin, peel, seed and chop it and simmer in veggie broth or water for about 5-10 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Puree in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender until smooth then return to the pan.OR you can cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it until soft. Remove the skin, then puree it. Continue the recipe at the coconut milk stage. To add more protein, add chunks of tofu, toasted pumpkin seeds or cooked quinoa and cook until warmed through.
5 INGREDIENT THAI PUMPKIN SOUP
2 tablespoons red curry paste
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, about 32 ounces
2 15 ounce cans pumpkin puree
1¾ cup coconut milk, or a 13.5 ounce can, reserving 1 tablespoon or more
1 large red chili pepper, sliced
cilantro for garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the curry paste for about one minute or until paste becomes fragrant. Add the broth and the pumpkin and stir.
- Cook for about 3 minutes or until soup starts to bubble. Add the coconut milk and cook until hot, about 3 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk and sliced red chilis. Garnish with cilantro leaves if desired.
5 Ingredient Thai Pumpkin Soup